I have called the Hudson Valley my home for several years now, and I am finally getting around to sharing some of the incredible food, places, and culture this region has to over.
The Hudson Valley is an area of New York State that stretches along the Hudson River. On the east side, you have Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess County, while on the west side of the river, you will find Orange, Rockland and Ulster County.
My family resides in Western Hudson Valley, so my focus will be on this part of the region, but you can certainly find incredible places to explore on the eastern side of the Hudson River.
While any time of year is a wonderful time to visit, the Hudson Valley is especially popular in the fall, and with good reason. The leaves turn gorgeous shades of red, orange, yellow and purple; farm stands are filled with tasty fall produce; and, apple and pumpkin picking is plentiful.
Please note fall weekends (especially Columbus Day weekend, and during Warwick’s Applefest) can be extremely crowded. If you prefer less people around during your visit, try coming in the middle of the week, or later in the season. Late November, before the Winter holiday activities start, is a good bet.
Read on to learn about some of my favorite spots to experience the best of the Hudson Valley.
Visit A Farm Or Orchard
The Hudson Valley is bursting with apple orchards, and residents and visitors alike have their favorites. I am partial to Ochs Orchard for its massive size and beautiful views. I have also enjoyed apple picking at Apple Dave’s and the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery.
If you’re traveling with kids, you can’t go wrong with Pennings Farm. From on-site apple picking, to delicious food, to an abundance of fresh produce, Pennings has it all. Plus you can sip on some delicious house-made apple cider while you watch your kids play on the grounds.
Wright Family Farm is another terrific spot for families with young children. Activities include a corn maze, rubber duck racing, pedal cars, and more. While you are there, you can also visit the pumpkin patch to select your perfect pumpkin.
Hike On The Appalachian And Other Beautiful Trails
The Western Hudson Valley and surroundng area is home to some gorgeous trails, including a large portion of the Appalachian Trail. Whether you want to climb the Stairway To Heaven or take a hike that’s right by a zoo, there’s a lot to explore on the AT.
For a variety of trails of varying difficulty, you can’t go wrong with Harriman State Park. With 200 miles of hiking trails, you will always find something new to explore.
Enjoy Some Unique Entertainment
Only in a place as beautiful as the Hudson Valley could you find an art museum as unique as Storm King Art Center. Home to dozens of sculptures, this outdoor museum intergrates art with nature creating a magical feast for the senses.
For another unique experience, catch a movie at the Warwick Drive-In But, hurry, the drive-in closes on October 31.
Treat Yourself To A Delicious Meal
The Hudson Valley has been supplying nearby New York City with delicious meat and produce for decades. Recently, however, local chefs and farmers have come together to keep that delictable food right in my backyard. The result is farm-to-table goodness that rivals any big-city venue.
My favorites include, but are not limited to:
Cafe e Dolci
Of course if you are my kids, dessert can absolutely be a meal, and if you’re a fan of ice cream, look no further than Bellvale Creamery (open through October) for scrumptious flavors like “Bellvale Bog” and “Salty Caramel Crunch.” If you visit, don’t be surprised by the long line, Bellvale regularly tops the best ice cream in the U.S. lists.
Have Fun At Our Fabulous Playgrounds
Throughout the Hudson Valley you will find plenty of familiar-looking playgrounds with their familiar slides and swings.
There is so much to see and do in the Western Hudson Valley, I couldn’t possibly put in one post. Be sure to follow Hudson Valley Hopping, Hudson Valley Explorer, Orange County Land Trust, Hudson Valley Parent, and Wandering In Warwick for more ideas on how to enjoy your time here.